The Two-Decade Red State Murder Problemhttps://www.thirdway.org/report/the-two-decade-red-state-murder-problem
Republicans have made crime a major selling point over the past several elections. In 2020 and 2022, they ran ads accusing Democratic candidates of wanting to defund the police a position held by only a handful of fringe Democratic officeholders. In October 2022, one-quarter of ads from Republican candidates and PACs focused on crime. Republican-aligned Fox News aired, on average, 141 segments on crime across weekdays in the two months leading up to the midterms. In the week after the midterm, their coverage of violent crime dropped by 50%.
In March of 2022, we released a report that found murder rates in 2020 were 40% higher in Trump-voting states than Biden-voting states. In this follow-up report, we studied homicide data going back to 2000 to see if this one-year Red State murder epidemic was an anomaly. It was not. Despite a media narrative to the contrary, a wide and widening Red State murder gap has spanned the past two decades.
In this study, we collected homicide data from 2000 through 2020 for all 50 states from the Center of Disease Control Wonders National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Data. Data is based on death certificates collected by state registries and provided to the National Vital Statistics System. We chose CDC data over FBI data because its more up to date and does not rely on voluntary reporting from counties and states. All states are required to report mortality data to the CDC; theyre only encouraged to report crime data to the FBI. The United States Department of Justice has acknowledged that CDC data is more accurate. (There were four states with several years of missing dataNew Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. In these instances, we relied on FBI numbers from the Uniform Crime Statistics.)1 To allow for comparison, we calculated the states per capita murder rate, the number of murders per 100,000 residents, and categorized states by their presidential vote in the 2020 election, resulting in an even 25-25 state split.
We found that the murder rate in Trump-voting states has exceeded the murder rate in Biden-voting states every year this century. Cumulatively, overall murder rates since 2000 were on average 23% higher in Trump-voting states. For the past 21 years, the top 10 murder rate states have been dominated by reliably red states, namely Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Missouri. Even when we removed the county with the largest city in Trump-voting states (and kept them in for Biden-voting states), murder rates were still significantly higher in these red states.
It is not so much the self-destructive policies voted for, as it is the self-destructive elements of the culture and mores of folk who vote for them. That violence is more prevalent at the South has long been known, Mark Twain can be more than usually scathing on the subject. Identification with 'southern' culture has become predominant in white working class culture and mores, driving these people's political behavior.
All go hand in hand. Republican policies generate poverty, destroy education systems, destroy health care, and thus cause crime.
It's of little surprise that a party that doesn't want to pay for things like child care or pre school has produces adults who are criminal.
And the Republican system of crime and punishment produces career criminals and rehabilitates virtually no one.